“If you ever go vegan, I’ll break up with you,” said an ex boyfriend, in all seriousness. We had been dating for about 6 or 7 months, and the “food thing” was causing some serious issues. I had already been vegetarian for a 6 or 7 years, and was flirting with veganism. While I was still doing a bit of dairy here and there–mainly Greek yogurt. Couldn’t get off the stuff–what I was most focused on was how healthy my food was. And my ex, who we will call Bobby, would only eat three things: Nachos, tuna fish salad, and bacon. Basically, I was dating a toddler. Whereas I was picky when it comes to the purity of my food, he was just picky. And we couldn’t eat together.
We couldn’t go out to eat together, we couldn’t cook together, and when I stayed at his house I would find myself rummaging in the cupboards, emerging with a 3 year old can of black olives that I would dig into with a fork. And I’m sure he hated staying at my place, where I would wake up and shove kale into my blender excitedly. It was rough. And did I mention he threatened to break up with me if I ditched dairy? Yeah, not the best match, really.
Just for a moment, let’s put the ethics of veganism aside and focus on the food. Food is important. Not only does it nourish our body, but we spend hours every day with food. Buying it, preparing it, eating it. And for the foodies, well there is all that time thinking about it, daydreaming about it, lusting over it, photographing it, lusting over the photos…
So to think that differences in palates, preferences and diet won’t have any impact on a relationship is naive. If you share your passion for food, and enjoy the same edibles, well food can create a deep bond. Both of my parents worked in the food industry (my mother, a chef at a swanky Connecticut country club; my father, the dining room manager at another equally swankable club) and their love for the industry and good food certainly brought them together, or at least gave them a common ground to stomp around in the early throes of their romance.
And if you have different food preferences? While it may not kill the relationship, it can certainly give you a few hurdles to jump over. And we’re not all Sally Pearson. An article on vegan dating published Wednesday on BBC discussed vegans looking for love, and how it can be difficult for them to find it. One vegan interviewed said “I did break up with someone over cheese.” While the article is a bit silly at points (it includes a photo of a trailer with the heading “These days vegans are less likely to be loners living in caravans”) it did bring up some good questions regarding food politics and dating.
While veganism certainly isn’t new, it has become more popular recently, or at least gained more press. And so topics like vegan dating are getting more attention. And there are a lot of questions left unanswered. Could a little mozzarella mozzaruin your relationship? How often does this happen? How many vegans refuse to “settle” for an omnivorous partner? Are vegan women more likely to date an omni man than vise versa? If so, why? Do we think we can “convert” them? Is this our super secret plan of activist attack? Convert by seduction? How fun…
Now normally I never ask anything of you. I just rant about sex and food and dating and veganism and hope maybe you want to procrastinate at work by reading about the best vegan sex toys or how masturbation could better the planet. But I’ve come up with a few questions to dig deeper into the politics of vegan dating. If you have a few moments, please take a look at it—it’s completely anonymous. I know surveys are really obnoxious, but it’s only 10 ANONYMOUS questions and will take you two minutes. Because it’s anonymous, I can’t thank you personally, but it will give you good dating and sex karma. I promise. Sort of. Take it here, please and thank you!
Also feel free to leave comments about your dating experiences below! I am nosy.
The Lusty Vegan is a lifestyle and sex column focusing on living and loving as a twenty-something year old vegan. More rants from Zoe Eisenberg can be found at www.sexytofu.com. Follow her on Twitter @Sexytofublog